Unlike most towns and villages around the coast in Iceland, Súðavík was always more of an agricultural area. Throughout the centuries until the late 19th century the area consisted mostly of farms and in the middle of that century it had 21 farms, and small estates and no cluster of houses were visible. But then again, land for agriculture is limited in the West Fjords, and fishing grounds were rich in many other places where fishing towns developed. But the village Súðavík, like many other towns and villages around the shoreline in Iceland, started to form a village when Norwegian entrepreneurs started a whaling venture and built a whaling station around 1890.
The tragedy of the 1995 avalanche
The village has always been small with few inhabitants. After the whaling station had discontinued its operation, a combination of fishing and fish processing laid the ground for the village livelihood in the 20th century until 1995. In January 1995, a 400-meter snow avalanche fell on the small village. On that day, the weather was nothing less than devastating in the West Fjords. People were buried in the snow and rescue squads faced some obstacles and difficulties bringing help. The whole nation was in shock. After hours of digging and searching, it appears that many homes had demolished, and fourteen people had lost their lives, among them eight children. Today the village has been rebuilt, although the area where the snow avalanche fell is empty.
Súðavík is a tiny village with a difficult past
Súðavík developed like most small towns and villages in Iceland. Emphasis has always been on good care for the young and the elderly. Access to education and sports facilities has always been high on the priority list in all of the small villages and towns in Iceland. The same applies to Súðavík. After the avalanche part of the town was closed for living in the winter time and the town development moved to a more secure area. Despite all this Súðavík offers most of the service expected in any village in Iceland. Accommodation, gas station and a café.
If you are going to visit the Westfjords in Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin the Súðavík region.